Thousands of people took part in demonstrations in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum and other places in the country yesterday, in support of the Empowerment Removal and Anti-Corruption Committee* and democratic transition in the country. The demonstrators called for the establishment of a civilian government.
Trains carrying hundreds of demonstrators from Wad Madani, capital of El Gezira, and later from Atbara in River Nile state, were welcomed at the railway station in Khartoum.
Social media sources reported that the train from Atbara was delayed due to deliberate sabotage of the railway lines at Shendi El Terajema. It was discovered when three wagons of an earlier freight train derailed.
According to the sources, the train managed to continue because of “the insistence of activists and revolutionary bodies”.
Large groups from White Nile state and Sennar arrived in buses to join the support march to the office of the Empowerment Removal Committee** where the current chairman of the Committee, Mohamed El Faki and member Wajdi Saleh addressed the demonstrators.
We demand a civilian government, unification of the armed forces, and restoration of the Rule of Law, activist Khaled El Amin told Radio Dabanga from downtown Khartoum.
He said that most of the banners raised by the participants rejected any attempt to undermine the democratic transition and denounced the military component of the government. Others demanded the overthrow of what they described as “the bloody partnership between civilians and military”.
The police broke up the demonstration in front of the office of the Empowerment Removal Committee in Khartoum with tear gas.
The Association of Families of the December Revolution Victims reported that demonstrator Ibrahim Hussein (17) was hit on the head, which led to a concussion. Mo other casualties were reported.
* The full name of the committee is the Committee for Dismantling the June 30 1989 Regime, Removal of Empowerment and Corruption, and Recovering Public Funds. It was established by the government of Abdallah Hamdok in November 2019 with the aim to purge Sudan of the remnants of the ousted regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir (1989-2019). Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the Al Bashir government supported its affiliates by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions, the setting-up of various companies, and tax exemptions.
** Following an aborted coup attempt last week, tensions between Sudanese military and civilian leaders resurfaced. The military accused their civilian counterparts of squabbling and quarrelling over positions, while civilian members of the government criticised the armed forces for “claiming a monopoly of guardianship over the country and the sole right to lead it through the transitional period”. The tensions worsened last Sunday when security forces charged with the protection of the office building of the Empowerment Removal Committee and of recovered assets were instructed to abandon their posts, leaving the office and assets vulnerable.